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FS paves way to green, digital future

A number of initiatives and measures aimed at accelerating high-quality development were announced in today’s 2024-25 Budget, with the Government emphasising a move towards a green future and digitalisation.   Explaining that high-quality development spurs ongoing economic innovation and growth whilst conserving the natural environment, Financial Secretary Paul Chan said Hong Kong must pursue opportunities through leveraging its advantages under “one country, two systems”, namely those of enjoying strong support at a national level and being closely connected to other parts of the world.   He stressed that green development involves huge business opportunities and financing needs, as governments and businesses around the world pursue carbon neutrality and green transformation. In addition, he said digitalisation has become a new driving force for economic development, empowering enterprises to enhance efficiency, boost their competitiveness and achieve new growth.   Introdu

HK set to become tech hub

Research and development (R&D) is always the foundation of innovation and technology (I&T), and we have invested heavily in encouraging and supporting local R&D works. Apart from supporting R&D activities through various schemes, the Government has also been fostering technology transfer and realisation of R&D results. One of the good examples is to foster the development of local technology startups from our universities by launching the Technology Start-up Support Scheme for Universities under the Innovation & Technology Fund to support teams from our local universities, including Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), in starting technology businesses and commercialising their R&D results. Annual funding provided to each university has been increased up to $8 million, and each startup may receive up to $1.5 million per year for a maximum of three years. Since its inception, the support scheme has provided funding support to 334 startups with a total amount of $250 million.        Quality infrastructure and facilities for R&D are also indispensable for promoting I&T. We have set up two InnoHK research clusters focusing on two major areas, namely healthcare technologies and artificial intelligence as well as robotics technologies. We aim to pool in top-notch researchers all over the world via this initiative to consolidate Hong Kong's leading position as the hub for global research collaboration. The first batch of some 20 R&D laboratories including world-renowned universities and research institutes, as well as our local universities, have begun operation in the Science Park. I am so grateful for the support and participation of CUHK in this InnoHK initiative. Last month, the Chief Executive visited the Microbiota I-Center, MagIC, and I am particularly impressed by the research team's vision to have a new pharmaceutical and healthcare frontier in Hong Kong and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA).        Outstanding institutes and excellent researchers in Hong Kong will definitely have bigger roles to play on the road of building Hong Kong into an international I&T hub, leveraging the vast opportunities brought about by the National 14th Five-Year Plan and the GBA development. I sincerely hope that CUHK and the academia can seize every opportunity ahead and embrace the country's support, thereby bringing more impetus to the research and innovation sector in Hong Kong.   Secretary for Innovation & Technology Alfred Sit gave these remarks at the CUHK Innovation Day 2021 on September 23.
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